Peterhead Lifeboat launches to seriously injured climber near Bullers of Buchan
Aberdeen Coastguard requested Peterhead RNLI launch to the aid and extract of an injured climber who had fallen around 50ft while climbing near the Bullers of Buchan on Tuesday 27th June.
The 'Misses Robertson of Kintail' and volunteers arrived on the scene just south of the Bullers of Buchan at 21:40. Weather conditions made spotting the exact location difficult, with thick fog in the area and visibility of less than 100m. However, after radio communication with the on-scene coastguard rescue team and torchlight, Coxswain Pat Davidson managed to guide the lifeboat close to the cliff before deploying the two crew members on the Y boat with a stretcher and medical supplies.
Scottish Ambulance Service was now on scene and treated the casualty with assistance from the Coastguard Rescue Team and RNLI medical equipment.
With initial assessments completed and stabilised, the casualty was transferred to the basket stretcher, ready for extraction.
Crew Member Craig Aird added: "We launched to assist a stricken climber who had fallen close to the Bullers of Buchan; although we had coordinates for the scene, the fog made spotting the exact location difficult. I was part of the Y boat crew, deployed with the basket stretcher and other supplies. Arriving on-scene, the paramedics had begun treating the casualty. I used my time working with the Coastguard team to identify a suitable spot for transferring the casualty across to the lifeboat. Given the location, it was decided that the safest route for extraction was direct to the lifeboat rather than passing down the cliff to the Y boat.
Duty Coxswain Patrick Davidson said: "When the initial call came in, we knew how serious this was and attempted to make the best speed, but due to significantly reduced visibility, I had to think about the safety of my crew as well as the casualty. As a result of the local visibility and thunder and lightning storms in the area, an air evacuation was not possible. With potential spinal injuries the quickest and safest extraction was assessed to be by sea. On scene, sea conditions were favourable, but due to a small swell using our small daughter craft ( Y boat) was assessed to be too risky. So I decided to attempt and get the Lifeboat into a small gully so casualty and paramedics could be transferred from the cliff base directly onto the lifeboat, which we executed along with local Coastguard teams and assisted by my crew members illuminating the rocks around the lifeboat. The casualty was then transferred by lifeboat to Peterhead Harbour, where we were met by the Scottish Ambulance Service and Local Coast Guard Teams. They transferred the casualty to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary. It was a fantastic multiagency response and great to see how we all worked together seamlessly. Most importantly, we would all like to wish the casualty a speedy recovery."
Key facts about the RNLI
The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.